I think this is a great move, and it's something other professional sports leagues should institute. It seems as though with each passing year, younger players have less appreciation and respect for those who came before them. Getting a serious dose of history before entering the league should go a long way in reminding these rookies just how fortunate they are to be professional athletes.
Visits To Take Place May 28-June 23
All NFL rookies will visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, as an expanded element of their annual orientation program, it was announced today. The trips are designed to teach incoming players about the history of pro football and give them a greater appreciation of the NFL and the opportunities and responsibilities ahead.
Each team's tour will be headed by its player development director and will include speakers representing former NFL players, Pro Football Hall of Fame personnel and others.
The idea was inspired by 2007 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee MICHAEL IRVIN in a conversation with NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL last August in Canton.
NFL Player Development and the Pro Football Hall of Fame are coordinating the visits to Canton, which will take place from May 28-June 23. Rookies will learn about the NFL's history and heritage, focusing on the achievements of NFL greats who paved the way for today's players. This experience will help prepare rookies for their own careers while stressing the importance of their role as NFL players.
"Some of the most valuable lessons for our young men can be learned from those who played before them," said NFL Vice President of Player and Employee Development MIKE HAYNES, who was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1997. "The rookie orientation activities at the Pro Football Hall of Fame are a great way to provide a look at the rich history and tradition of our game."
The trips to Canton are part of several rookie orientation initiatives designed to ease new players' transition to the NFL. Draftees also will attend the annual Rookie Symposium in San Diego, California, from June 29-July 2, and rookies at 19 teams will participate in the first NFL Player Brand University, learning how the choices they make in business and in the community shape their overall image.